[Milton-L] Milton's Cosmos and Universe

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 19 15:17:47 EST 2010

Thanks, Michael, for the correction of Curry's name. Does anyone know where the other diagram comes from? As for your reservations -- and those of Professor Danielson -- I had just noted my own concerns in a comment to that blog entry (and alluding to Danielson):

Uncle Cran, I had the same reservations as you. I couldn't quite see how an "ordered system" could include chaos . . . unless it implies that chaos is kept in its place. But "cosmos" would better fit the ordered world of creation, in my opinion.

I'm not sure that Milton himself used the terms "cosmos" and "universe" in the ways noted in this blog entry. Maybe only the Milton scholars do.

I asked about the distinction on the Milton List yesterday, and one prominennt scholar acknowledged that the distinction is used but that he finds it "strained and unhelpful." Maybe the terms should be changed from "universe" and "cosmos" to "universe" and "multiverse" -- as that scholar suggests.

I'm willing to use whatever distinction people find useful. In my opinion, the term "cosmos" fits the created world that is encompassed by the primum mobile (for that is consistent with tradition), and the term "universe" better refers to the totality of 'cosmos', heaven, hell, and chaos.
Jeffery Hodges

From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu>
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Wed, January 20, 2010 3:59:25 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton's Cosmos and Universe


The author is Walter (not William) Clyde Curry.

One problem with cosmos as the name for the whole thing is its implication of order. Aren't cosmos and chaos considered antonyms? The whole thing in PL consists of three ordered places in a sea of chaos. There was a thread here maybe a year ago where several people thought that universe was the better name for the whole thing. In PL, Milton refers to our universe as "the world" and as "Heaven and Earth" (invisibly hyphenated). So universe is available for the whole thing.


On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 4:12 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:

To my scholarly discredit, I've only this morning learned that Milton scholars distinguish "cosmos" from "universe" in Milton's Paradise Lost. I've posted two well-known illustrations on my blog, but I can't recall and haven't found the source for one of them (though I think that it's Hughes).
>If anyone can help, please visit the following blog entry and provide the reference details:
>Jeffery Hodges
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20100119/3b867bc8/attachment.html

More information about the Milton-L mailing list